I recently watched a video about a group of friends who decided to do something crazy for love. They have a friend who is battling breast cancer, and wanted to show how much they support her. Watch what they did…
I love it. I love that they took something that separated their friend — something that marked her as a victim — and made it something they shared. I love that they loved her enough.
There are plenty of stories, songs, movies, and about sacrificial love. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan sacrificed time and a whole lot of money when he built the Taj Mahal in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In case that doesn’t sound crazy enough, consider that it took 22 years and over 20,000 workers to build.
Or how about people who sacrifice part of themselves, as in a literal part. This woman gave a kidney to her husband, and she’s certainly not alone. Or there is this mom in Massachusetts who recently used herself as a human speed bump to stop her car from rolling back down her steep driveway and into traffic. Why? Because her twin toddlers were buckled inside the moving, driver-less vehicle. Because she loved them enough.
When our kids are little, we read them books about how we love them to the moon and back. As they grow, we ask them repeatedly, “Do you know how much I love you?” But they don’t, really. Or at least they probably won’t fully grasp it until they have kids of their own.
I remember when my oldest child was about nine months old and we celebrated her first Easter. I was busy dressing her in an adorable little spring dress (even though the Maine winter stubbornly dragged on) that would soon be covered in mashed sweet potatoes and soy formula. I picked her up, swung her around the room while she giggled with glee, and it hit me: I would do anything for her, even if most days she’s just a little snotty-nosed-projectile-vomiting-poop-factory. Really… anything.
Is that what you were thinking when you sacrificed your son, Father? That you would do anything for me? And yet, he was your child too? How could you bear it?
I think it was then that I finally grasped the concept of sacrificial love. In that moment I saw God less as a supernatural spiritual being in the clouds and more as a fellow parent, willing to do anything for a child. And when I think of myself — or one of my kids — as that child I am awestruck.